The 2013 budget is going to hopefully be a turning point for Brantford city council.
While there is much swagger at times around the council table about pulling the trigger on being in businesses the city doesn’t need to be in, that trigger requires six votes. While some councillors are happy to pull out the gun and wave it around and place their finger on the trigger, they haven’t had fingers from the other hands on council needed to make it happen. This to the point the swagger is lost and the gun gets put away until the TV cameras are back on and it’s a little closer to budget time.
On Monday council received a blunt assessment of its fiscal realities from its treasurer and department heads. It also learned that it needs to stick to its strategic financial plan — it has a nasty habit of not doing so, refrain from in-year additions to the budget and stop spending money it hasn’t received yet.
So here’s the deal— this council deserves to know what services you could live with less of, or not even continue to receive from the city itself. There’s a great continuum of service chart produced by the city (image of it below) that might help you decide.
It’ll work even better if you — and all members of council for that matter — keep the discussion on the services you *already use* that meet that answer. Cutting things you don’t use or don’t care about is easy. The difficult work, the most meaningful, is in looking at the things that matter to you and asking the question for that service.
No more cutting off fingers and toes. It’s time to think about what arm or leg you can live without— and if you’re not prepared to do that, then be prepared to lose credibility (and tonnes of it) when you complain about your property tax burden.